This post is written by Nick Dekker, blogger at Breakfast with Nick and author of a book all about breakfast in Columbus. You can follow him on Twitter @BreakfastwNick.

light ethnic eats 2Maybe you’ve resolved to eat healthier this year? Maybe you’ve resolved to be more adventurous? Why not do both at the same time? Exploring Columbus’ varied ethnic food scene doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy. Start with a few of these lighter options!

El Arepazo’s three locations – downtown, Brewery District, and Gahanna – all specialize in Latin American fare. Each spot offers lighter dishes like mango or tilapia salads, or a variety of seafood ceviches.

Nida’s Thai shows that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor or spice when ordering lighter. Their salads like the Larb (ground chicken), Som Tumm (shredded papaya), or Yum Nua (grilled beef) can be amped up with some serious spice.

If you still want lots of vegetables and plenty of spice, try exploring some of our southern Indian restaurants like Udipi Cafe or Banana Leaf. Both offer excellent buffets that allow you to experience a range of flavors – all vegetarian – from their menus. At spots like Dosa Corner, you can enjoy their namesake dosas: thin, savory crepes served with different sauces or topped with a variety of curries.

light ethnic eats 1Dumplings can be heavier, depending on their fillings, but an order of soup dumplings at spots like Jie’s Good Tasting or Helen’s Asian Kitchen can be a full meal all by themselves. Many of them are steamed, too, which bypasses some of the heaviness from frying. Your only challenge will be keeping yourself from ordering dish after dish of them!

What are your favorite lighter choices from Columbus’ ethnic eateries?